Police have arrested 14 people in a series of early-morning raids targeting suspected Class A drug dealers across County Durham.
At 6am this morning, teams of officers raided properties in Consett, Burnopfield, Shotley Bridge, Leadgate, Bishop Auckland, Spennymoor, Ushaw Moor and Stanley.
Simultaneous raids were also carried out at addresses in Jarrow and the Merseyside area on behalf of Durham Constabulary.
More than 150 officers and support staff were involved in the operation, which resulted in 11 men aged between 24 and 44, three women aged between 37 and 61 arrested.
All were detained on suspicion of being concerned in the supply of Class A drugs and some for money laundering.
The raids were part of Operation Sledgehammer, the force’s long-running campaign to tackle serious and organised crime.
Temporary Detective Chief Inspector Nicola Lawrence, from Durham Constabulary, said:
Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) are being deployed to the areas around the target properties to provide reassurance and answer any questions residents may have.
Anyone with any information about drug dealing and crime in their area is being asked to call Durham Constabulary on 101, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.